Afrimax Group, a fast emerging mobile network operator, has secured $120 million funding from a consortium of investors led by Japanese conglomerate, Mitsui and co. Ltd, to accelerate the expansion of its high-speed broadband network across multiple African markets. The latest investment round also saw the participation by a number of other private investors including Torreal, one of the largest investment firms in Spain, Four G Capital, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund, an investment fund managed by the IFC Asset Management Company.
Afrimax holds TD-LTE, 4G Licence footprint across 12 African countries with a total population of 222 million, and this large equity investment from a reputable consortium of investors is another addition to the pool of endorsements of the success of Afrimax Group’s business model.
In November 2014, Vodafone and Afrimax Group jointly signed Partner Market agreements in the sub-Saharan Africa region. Under this framework agreement, Vodafone Uganda was launched in February of this year combining the deployment of new high speed 4G networks with the use of existing infrastructure for 2G and 3G services.
Mr Nobuaki Kitamori, COO of IT & Communication Business Unit of Mitsui & Co. Ltd: “We are excited by the growth opportunities in Sub Saharan Africa, where Afrimax has secured one of the industry’s largest footprints of 4G licences, and plan to rapidly replicate the successful launch of Vodafone Uganda. With the support of our fellow Shareholders, we look forward to building one of the region’s leading next generation MNOs.”
“We are pleased to be supporting Afrimax at this exciting time as the company expands services into new markets following the success of Vodafone Uganda,” a top Torreal executive added.
This comes just over a week after another private firm, Smile Telecoms, raised $365 million to extend its existing 4G LTE mobile network in three African countries.
As more affordable smartphones encourage consumers to browse the internet, stream videos and download applications, telecoms and internet companies are expanding in Africa in order to take advantage of the growing demand for data-heavy services.